Monday, July 31, 2006

Hurry Up And Wait... (Or the Freelance Writing Experience)

That's a pretty apt description for working on a film set, but it can also apply to writing a freelance script for an existing television series.

Most TV series these days have all their episodes written by their writing staff. It makes sense, especially with series that have complicated interwoven storylines and multiple character arcs (Lost, 24, Grey's Anatomy, etc.). And its next to impossible for a freelancer to know all that info without the benefit of being in the writers room all the time. But TV series that are more anthological or stand alone in design (House, Stargate & Stargate Atlantis, the CSI's) are more condusive to a freelancer parachuting in and writing an ep.

I recently wrote and delivered the outline for an existing series. It was a lot of work, but relatively painless. The show formula was fairly straightforward.

But allow me some muttering...

They really should restructure the Writer's Guild payment percentages. Generally (at least in Canada), they go down as follows:

10% on signing

20% on (EDIT:acceptance) delivery of outline

50% on delivery of first draft

20% on delivery of second draft

Of the last three freelance scripts I've written, the bulk of the work was at the outline stage. You have to break the story, research everything, map it out, add details to the point of it almost being a script, and in the case of those three freelance scripts - sprinkle in dialogue throughout the outline so that once its all said and done, the writing of the draft is not much more than plugging in the rest of the dialogue. The last one hour I wrote took me two months and four drafts of what ended up being a 23 page outline (TV one hour scripts generally end up around 50-55 pages). Once the outline was approved, the writing of the first draft took me a day and a half. Yet you see the payment scheme, and I feel they should be flipped - 50% for outline...20% for first draft...IMHO.

Anyway, when hired to write a freelance episode, generally it goes like this. You get a call, you meet/speak with the showrunner/head writers...sometimes you pitch them an idea, but most times they have an arena they want you to explore and some episode goals already worked out for you. And then you go away to write, usually ushered out the door with an urgency to it all..."We need this right away!"...Can you get to us by the end of the week?"...and you press pedal to the floor and deliver.

And then you wait. And wait. And wait.

I always ask for a reply to my email/delivery stating its been received and is in the machine. And when they respond, its generally accompanied by a note: 'Thanks for getting this in. Things are a little nuts here right now, but we'll get you some notes back end of the week/ASAP.'

Now, having spent a fair bit of time on the other side of the fence...I have a pretty good idea what 'Things are pretty nuts here' can mean, especially if a series is already shooting. Fires are always burning. Scripts in immediate prep and production always take precedent. For those on the frontlines, it's like a fast moving almost out of control train - even if going well.

And then there is the network...

What never seems to be calculated into the equation of timely feedback are the 'network notes'. Once your outline has been vetted and tweaked by story dept. it has to go to the network. Expect to add at least a week to any sort of schedule of the story dept. receiving notes back from the network. And hopefully network likes it, if they don't - the story dept. then has to try to fix it and resubmit to the network and wait and see if they like it now. You as the freelancer generally never see these notes or participate in this process....but you have to wait for it all to go down.

So as I sit around and 'wait' for notes on this outline I delivered about two weeks ago, the brain starts to swirl...

Did it suck? Do I suck? (maybe)

Do they hate it? (heard that before)

Does network hate it? (been there, done that)

Are they drawing straws to see who is going to tell me I'm fired? (had that happen...only once thankfully)

Has series/characters changed dramatically? (as in your story is now redundant or irrelevant because story dept. rewrites of scripts prior to yours changed direction of arcs, relationships, etc. -all out of your control obviously but now the story dept. is wondering what to do with your story...major overhaul usually ensues)

Are they busy on more pressing issues? (see above, production stuff)


And it can be any of these reasons, but generally it ends up being none of the above - it's just a time/priority thing, and you needn't have sweat it...

....just when they said we'll get you notes by the end of the week, they should have said end of the month.

SONG&ARTIST? - "The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part."

Sunday, July 30, 2006

To My Brother, With Whom I Didn't Sleep With...

...the one that's in NY, doing very well for himself. Mon other frère is out in Calgary, doing his thing there.

The comedy album is mostly a lost art, but it should not be forgotten. We listened to comedy albums all the time growing up...Stan Freberg, Beyond the Fringe, Bob Newhart, Woody Allen, and of course, Bill Cosby. Next there were records by Monty Python, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Steve Martin. That was one of the last comedy albums I remember purchasing...Steve Martin's 'Comedy Is Not Pretty'.

And then David Letterman and his show began to satisfy our 'comedy' needs...

Anyway, in the ongoing quest for the next thing that is funny, the brotherly one to the east turned me onto this Borat character a few years ago (aka Ali G).

And now I see there's a Borat movie coming out...

So this is for my bro' - silly I know...but he like...and I like.

It is nice...

SONG & ARTIST? - "Now, if I'd known
They'd line up just to see him,
I'd trade in all my money
And bought me a museum.

Buried with a donkey
He's my favorite honky!
Born in Arizona,
Moved to Babylonia..."

P.S. Happy 75th Birthday, Pops...way to go!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I'm Not Waiting For The Mann...

'Miami Vice' was a real disappointment. Distancing and disjointed, stoic performances and a plot that barely made sense...other than some cool HD cinematography, I walked away feeling severely let down by Michael Mann and company.

And if there's anyone out there who's seen the film and can explain to me the meaning of the line "luck means time" or whatever it was Li Gong kept saying, I'd be most grateful...

SONG&ARTIST? - Well, if you told me you were drowning
I would not lend a hand
Ive seen your face before my friend
But I dont know if you know who I am
Well, I was there and I saw what you did
I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off the grin, I know where youve been
Its all been a pack of lies

Friday, July 28, 2006

I Like You, But You're Crazy...

Friday fun with Ferrell...

...because it makes me smile.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

(Should I Get Some) Satisfaction?

Here'a question for the room. It was just confirmed yesterday that the Rolling Stones will be making a stop here in lil' ol' Buttkick this October.

Now, I saw the Stones down in Boulder, Colorado on their Tattoo You tour in 1981. My fav band at the time. 85,000 people. Heart and George Thorogood were the warmups. Great seats. Amazing experience. October 4th, 1981.

And now, 25 years (holy shit, I can't believe I wrote that) later...

So the question is...should I go? Part of me thinks I have to (and take my oldest daughter or something), but another part of me wants to preserve that special memory of the show in '81. Lest we not forget these guys are in their 60's now...and decent tickets are running anywhere from 300.00 - 550.00 per I am presently sitting on the fence.


SONG & ARTIST? - "I've been waiting in the hall
Been waiting on your call
When the phone rings
It's just some friends of mine that say,
"Hey, what's the matter man?
We're gonna come around at twelve
With some Puerto Rican girls
that are just dyin' to meet you.
We're gonna bring a case of wine
Hey, let's go mess and fool around
You know, like we used to."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Why We Need More Kevin Smith's...

...and more movies like 'Clerks II'.

I know...I know..."Clerks II"? But for me, Kevin Smith (much like Tarantino) still embodies that sensbilty and spirit and blind ignorance that we all had in film school, but for the most part have long lost as we became more experienced and knowledgeable and yes, talented.

It's about making choices that don't necessarily add up or conform or even make sense, but you did it because you didn't know any better. And most times it sucked, but sometimes just sometimes it worked...and something was created that lived just outside the box - a place a lot of us wish we could still go, but don't, or can't, because now we know too much.

Not to say Kevin Smith isn't talented or hasn't become more experienced and knowledgeable, but it's like part of him never left film school. And that's why I really enjoy his films. For my money, I'll check out a Smith movie a lot sooner than most other 'auteurs' that almost threaten us to worship the celluloid they expose (see M. Night).

'Clerks' amused me. Sure it had its problems...all Smith's films do, but there were enough moments of unbridled enthusiasm combined with real-life lunacy to more than make up for the shortcomings. 'Chasing Amy', 'Mallrats', and 'Dogma' all fall into the same boat. 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back' remains to this day one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Even with its blatant 'Pee Wee's Big Adventure' plot borrowing, it still makes me laugh out loud after far too many viewings. 'Jersey' Girl was a step sideways, but 'Clerks II' shows a return to form.

Film school form.

It could have used a little more Jay and Silent Bob and a little less 'drama', perhaps another dance number and more heinie troll talk and definitely some more interspecies erotica-like moments (don't ask, go see!), but it still more than held together and entertained and stepped outside the box just enough times to make me laugh and shake my head and mutter..."I can't believe they filmed that..."

And even though it looked like every cent of its reported 5 million dollar budget, that was okay, because it smelled like film school - right down to the circling steadicam sequence when the two best friends have a down and dirty argument out in the alley. Vintage film school...

Fuck art, let's shoot.

I remember those words being stenciled on the back of a simple black t-shirt worn by the first real dolly grip I ever worked with as a director (a hot shit we brought in from Vancouver - and he was good...real good) --- and since then, whenever bogged down waiting for an elaborate lighting setup to finish or hair and makeup to go back in for final touches 'again' or a special effect or stunt needing another rehearsal, I'd hear those words echoing around my brain - and have to exercise great self control to keep from shouting them out.

Fuck art, let's shoot.

Kevin Smith seems to still have those words echoing around his brain, and doesn't seem to be afraid to shout it out.

SONG & ARTIST? - "Frustrated, incorporated
Frustrated, incorporated
Well I know just what you need
I might just have the thing
I know what you'd pay to feel"

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Return of the Presence of Greatness...

...I do so at risk of condemnation from those who find such posts as boring or flag waving...but after a relaxing week and waaaay too much time sitting and thinking on the beach whilst watching kids frolic, I remembered another major 'presence of greatness' moment (I'm still baffled as to how I forgot it) --- some quality time spent with one also known for characters as Earl Camembert, Woody Tobias Jr., Sid Dithers, Bobby Bittman (How are ya!), and Jim's dad himself...

...Mr. Eugene Levy.

First, some clarification. Greatness can appear in all walks of life - but this blog is in the business of show biz. We're always talking about what makes a 'great' script, a 'great' TV series, a great actor, a great writer, a great director...what makes something/someone 'great'? Yes, it’s a subjective thing...something slightly different to everyone...but when in the presence of such a thing, it will perhaps be intimidating, but can also be inspiring. That's all these 'presence of' posts are supposed to be, entertaining...maybe even inspiring (but certainly not intimidating).

Anyway...Mr. Levy, or 'Gene' as some call him, was an idol of mine while growing up. I don't have to tell anyone in Canada, or North America for that matter, who was drawn to good smart clever funny television about the SCTV series. I watched it religiously from its inception up at the Allarcom Studios in Edmonton, Alberta to its subsequent move to Toronto and NBC and prominent rise in public awareness and popularity. And I loved every minute of it.

John Candy, Rick Moranis, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas, Martin Short were some of the well known SCTV alumni, but Eugene Levy was always my favorite. Now I've had the pleasure of dinner with Dave Thomas, and the pleasure of directing Andrea Martin...both very smart and very funny people....but these were 'work' situations, and they were 'on', or in 'on' mode. I put my encounter with Mr. Levy in another category because it was outside the work element...

It was a week long golf Las Vegas...

Think of the possibilities.

When it began to look like it just might happen I will admit I was damn near beside myself with excitement...

How do things like that come together? Well, a producer friend of mine happened to be good friends with Mr. Levy. My producer friend and a writer friend and I were talking about a week of golf in February somewhere south - and decided upon Vegas and surrounding area. My producer friend mentions this to Levy, who says he will be in LA just prior to our trip...maybe he'll join us.

Holy crap...

Cut to a week later, me and my producer friend and my writer friend touch down in Vegas and there standing by the baggage carousel in sunglasses and a ball cap is Eugene Levy...waiting for us.

Remain calm. Treat with courtesy and respect. Don't fawn.

Little is said as we hop in a rental van and drive an hour or so to first resort/casino/golf course complex we plan to stay at. I drove. Tried real hard not to dwell on the embarrassing ramifications if I should suddenly pass out and crash the vehicle.

We arrive, quickly check in, and race for the first tee to get in a game before the sun sets. Again, very little is said. Eugene Levy is anything but 'on'. We hit away.

Now, I believe I've mentioned I used to be a pretty good golfer. And can still hold my own. And I don't think I'd be dishing any dirt if I acknowledge that as much as Mr. Levy loves I mean really loves the game of golf...he's not very good at it.

So here I be, tromping up and down the fairways with a comic legend, one of my all time idols, and the first words of any real substance that come out of his mouth and are pointed in my direction are: "...damn, you got a hell of a swing."

Uh, thanks. And you're, also.

He continues to slash his way along. A couple shots later (I think I birdied the hole) and I get: "...geez, you are good! Come here and tell me what I need to be doing."

Okay, what's wrong with this picture....?

Ever ask yourself what you'd do or say if you ever met someone you really admired or respected? All I wanted to do is gush and heap praise on the man, and he's asking me for golf tips because he thinks I'm good. Not the way I would've seen it going. Not at all.

Nevertheless, we all got along and a fun and entertaining week of much golf and relaxation subsequently followed. I'm not for a moment saying I ever felt in his league or anything, but you can reach a relative level playing field with a lot of people if allowed to take it outside of the work arena. Like playing golf at Banff.

What was my point again? Ah yes...greatness.

So not to drudge up a minute by minute play by play, but two meals stand out in particular.

The first was the evening of the second or third day there. Everyone was getting used to each other, guards were being lowered, people were relaxing....Mr. Levy was relaxing. And we were heading into the buffet for our nightly gorge fest on mediocre food (this wasn't a high class trip...pretty low-key/modest all around)...and with the din of the slots 'ding dinging' away not twenty feet behind us, Mr. Levy got on a roll. About the people in the food line, about the food, about certain people glued to their stools at particular slots or card tables, about the musical entertainment, about the obvious regulars, about the waitresses, about the dealers...he was just riffing on what we'd all been seeing, but was one of the funniest hours I've ever been privy to.

The other was near the end of the trip, and over dinner, he was asked about what he was working on in LA. After some thought, he proceeded to go through in much detail this 'notion' of an idea that he and Christopher Guest were kicking around - a sort of improvisational feature - and they'd just finished a couple weeks of outlining a story. He was planning on playing a dentist with a lazy eye (proceeds to depict what he's talking about - much laughter ensues).

And at the time, hearing about an improvised story, with characters developed by the actors and filming it all (albeit with a loose structure) seemed pretty cool but also pretty radical. In fact, I didn't know quite what to make of it, other than to feel very privileged to hear about it --- and very inspired by how excited and passionate he was about it. Something he and Guest were thinking about calling 'Waiting For Guffman'....


Say no more.

EDIT: saw "Monster House" tonight - a pretty solid little flick. I'd say its between it and "Cars" as the best movies I've seen this summer. Hopefully 'Miami Vice' won't disappoint.

SONG & ARTIST? - "Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone,
But that’s not how it used to be.
When the jester sang for the king and queen,
In a coat he borrowed from james dean
And a voice that came from you and me."

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Even More Cowbell...

...because I put my pants on, just like the rest of you, one leg at a time.

I'll get out of this music mode soon, but it just came to my attention that a cd was released this past April entitled.... 'Maximum Cowbell'

The track Listings:

01 Blue Öyster Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper
02 Mountain - Mississippi Queen
03 Loverboy - Working For The Weekend
04 Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
05 War - Low Rider
06 Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music
07 Santana - Evil Ways
08 Nilsson - Coconut
09 Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman
10 The Chambers Brothers - Time Has Come Today
11 Elvis Presley - Burning Love
12 Blood, Sweat & Tears - Spinning Wheel
13 Ted Nugent - Free-For-All
14 Argent - Hold Your Head Up
15 The Alan Parsons Project - Games People Play
16 The Edgar Winter Group - Frankenstein

Not bad, but for me there were several glaring omissions (Foghat's 'Slow Ride' and the aforementioned Nazareth' 'Hair Of The Dog' for starters) just about any early hit from Canadian rocknroll vets April Wine - 'Drop Your Guns', 'Could've Been A Lady' - and most especially their cowbell classics 'Oowatanite' and 'Tonite Is A Wonderful Night To Fall In Love'...both from the very first record album I ever bought - April Wine's 'Stand Back'.

Album number of like your first time, 'cept it was with music and probably a lot less traumatic.

So why 'Stand Back'?

April Wine and BTO (Bachman Turner Overdrive) were the two biggest Canuck bands at the time (and 'BTO's Greatest Hits' ended up being my second ever purchase). I knew one of the two bands would be the victor when I ventured into the Hudson Bay Company's department store music dept. ... found the lp's, hummed and hawed, turning the record jackets over and over again....weighing, considering, evaluating, debating...and eventually 'Stand Back' won out.

Still not sure exactly...maybe just because it seemed like the cooler purchase at the time.

For the record, no pun intended, purchases numbers 3, 4, 5, and 6 were respectively - Paul McCartney's 'Wings Over America', Led Zep's 'Song Remains The Same', 'Kiss Alive', and the Rolling Stones 'Made In The Shade'.

Also in there somewhere were two 45's - Steve Miller's 'Rockin' Me Baby' and Queen's 'Bohemian Rapsody'.

These were all just the beginning of a beautiful friendship... pop/rock music threw out a line and sinker and boy, was I hooked.

By now I'm sure you've figured out the year was 1975. Over thirty years ago. Yeesh. And yet I remember buying these lp's still so home and up to my room to listen to them on my little portable mono record player...sitting on top of my little brothers and forcing them to listen also (even though Kiss frightened them) - remember it like it was yesterday...

But now, with the internet and downloading, the days of 'High Fidelity' seem behind us forever --- browsing record shops and the different music sections, comparing likes and dislikes with the vinyl junkie behind the till, deciding on a purchase based purely on whether it had a cool album cover or not...sadly, it's all ancient history.

Alex Epstein raises the question whether the 'internet killed the record store' over on Complications Ensue, and then dovetailed neatly into Are We All Out On The Street In Five Years? and what's next for the future of tv and movies...

Somewhere I read..."Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide to the future."

So where the hell does that mean I'm going? Rockland Wonderland?

Well, for the time being, I'm going to be away with the kids for a few days and also have a writing deadline looming. So things will be quiet here at Uninflected Images for a bit.

Enjoy the sun....

SONG & ARTIST#1? - "I have waited a lifetime
Spent my time so foolishly
But now that I've found you
Together we'll make history
I know I can't help myself, baby
You're all in the world to me"

SONG & ARTIST#2? - "Now come on people, live with me, where the light has never shone
And the harlots flock like hummingbirds, speakin' in a foreign tongue
This is my life, this is my life, this is my life, my life...
This is my life, this is my life, this is my life, my life."

Friday, July 14, 2006

More Cowbell..., putting the previous post behind us....although I wish someone had taken a shot at the song/artist. Think 'cowbell', but not necessarily 'more cowbell' with Will Ferrell and Bruce Dickenson.

Just because it makes me smile...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wcdixon meets Aggravated Blogger...(Or Alien vs. Predator II?)

This post appeared on another blog yesterday (one I check occasionally mostly to marvel at the absolute volume of stream o' consciousness posts) and boy did my mouth drop open :o imagine something I said (see Gone Fishin'... below) and did on my lil 'ol blogsite could cause such an extreme reaction?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blog Rage

I just had to unsubscribe from a blog because of blog rage. First, there was this incredibly annoying post. So annoying. The person says he/she (I actually don't know) met Jane one day--or was it Marti Noxon? Isn't that annoying? How can you NOT KNOW??? People are not interchangeable, you fracking moron.

Anyway. Ahem. Calm.

Then every day, a couple times a day, this SAME POST comes up as new again. For a week now!I get a teeny bit annoyed when the same post repeatedly pops up as new anyway, though I realize it's an artifact of editing, whatever, blah blah. But this? This was bad. It was a boring post to begin with, plus the hateful flag-waving "I'm a moron, look at me" part.

So I unsubscribed on bloglines.

THAT oughta show that dope. Chuh! Sheesh. I mean, honestly.

I'm feeling like a dope myself, because I faxed someone my cover letter and resume only I forgot the resume. DUH.
Oh well. I'll just send it again. WITH resume. But it reminds me in a rather glaring way of the posts that reappear on bloglines. Way to make that person so very impressed with your attention to detail and perspicacity, genius!

I feel the need for a good dose of Firefly, somehow. Mal's cranky short-tempered reactions to an exasperating universe. And our beloved Jayne Cobb, being a lunkhead. And wonderful Kaylee. I think Out of Gas is in order. And Objects in Space. In the opposite order, because the end of Out of Gas is the nicest ending ever.Did you ever notice that in Firefly, our heroes always lose? And Buffy always loses somehow? And Veronica Mars always loses? And our heroes on Battlestar Galactica always lose, or barely manage to hang on? What's going on there? Seriously. And how come those are the shows I like so much?

I think I'm about at the end of my job application/job search rope, after fifteen straight hours (my time) or seven hours (Earth time). I'm glad there's an interview tomorrow.

Sheesh with a side of fries.

EDITED TO ADD: Yes, I do have bloglines set so it only shows new posts. Sites where I've read everything don't show up at all. And this one still popped up constantly anyway. It has special annoying buoyancy skills, apparently.

Wow...I'm still reeling. No names/blogs were mentioned so it wasn't a direct attack, but still...

At any rate - here's what I commented:

wcdixon said...

Dear M*****:

I present myself to you as the annoying blogger referred to above and want to apologize for causing you such grief.

But a few comments in my defense...

1) Am relatively new to blog world and had no idea people can subscribe to blogs so new posts 'appear' or whatever they I'm embarrassed, and will try to cease any editing I may do.

2) I've been driven nuts over the past week trying to get links to articles/photo's/blogs to appear as text within post - so have been trying and republishing with little or no luck. But while in 'edit' mode, was tweaking a word here and there - thus post as new post kept appearing I presume.

And as to your remarks...

"First, there was this incredibly annoying post. So annoying. The person says he/she (I actually don't know) met Jane one day--or was it Marti Noxon? Isn't that annoying? How can you NOT KNOW??? People are not interchangeable, you fracking moron."

Uh - read my profile - pretty straightforward...I'm a 'he'.

And as to who I met, I'm pretty sure it was Ms. Noxon but it was like being at greeting line at a stranger's wedding and the intro's were flying fast and was not meant as a slight against either woman or wanting to present them as interchangeable (or irrelevant).

"Then every day, a couple times a day, this SAME POST comes up as new again. For a week now."
A couple of times a day? A big exaggeration unless there was a Blogger subscriber malfunction. Two or three times max.

"This was bad. It was a boring post to begin with, plus the hateful flag-waving "I'm a moron, look at me" part."---

"boring?" - whatever, but what constitutes a entertaining post exactly --- "I'm a moron, look at me?" I'm just relating some stories here - read and comment if you wish, but not sure why that makes me a moron ---

But you lost me on the "hateful flag-waving" part - what was hateful and flag-waving?

If you subscribed in the first place, couldn't have been all bad and boring...

Anyway, sorry about the aggravation - it wasn't on purpose...


Not sure what else to say...are there blogging etiquette lessons out there I need to be taking?

I just hope her subscription cancellation has kicked in or I'll hear about posting this...but then again, bloggers can't be choosers.

SONG & ARTIST? - Heart breaker, soul shaker
I've been told about you
Steamroller, midnight stroller
What they've been saying must be true
Red hot mama
Velvet charmer
Time's come to pay your dues

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gabba Gabba ... Awwwww...

Sad times indeed - CBGB's to close -

Though my exposure to the club was limited to a walk by during my one and only visit to NY, many of the bands it supported and nurtured greatly influenced my youth...

EDIT: call me a moron, but could someone could be so kind as to walk me through the steps to make link to an article appear as just text (eg. CBGB's to close). I've followed Blogger Help to a t but either the link don't link, or I get message that my HTML can't be accepted - has no matching tag, etc. even though it was there when I click publish.

SONG & ARTIST? - "I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax
I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me, I'm a real live wire."

Monday, July 10, 2006

100% Fun....

...we all know many tv shows will end an episode with a montage set to some pop/rock tune - either popular or obscure....or slam into the closing credits with a cool 'story complimentary' track. So yesterday, I'm rooting around in my old cd boxes and come across 'Girlfriend' by Matthew Sweet.

I hadn't heard it in ages but man, it's a great cd.

And while listening to it, I decided almost any track could be used as one of 'those' cool songs to end an episode. But for which show? How about...

Big Love: either 'Holy War' or 'Divine Intervention' could work...perhaps. Or maybe...

Rescue Me: either 'Nothing Lasts' or Looking at the Sun'...

But that got me thinking that pretty much anything by the Waterboys could work for Leary's show. Which led to thinking about music for other shows:

Entourage: either 'Tumbling Dice' or 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking' by the Rolling Stones

Deadwood: an obscure accoustic/banjo cover of the Counting Crows 'Round Here'

The Soprano's: 'Locked In the Trunk of a Car' by Tragically Hip

And then I wasted a bunch of time trying to paste in those 30 second music samples of these songs that you can get off Amazon or wherever - with absolutely no luck. I do suck at computers.

At any rate, for a while it was fun....100% Fun (one of Matthew Sweet's followup's to 'Girlfriend')

Try it, you might like it.

Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if any of these shows have already used these songs and I just happened to miss it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Magic Man...

...not the song by Heart - but an amazing magician named Cyril, the Japanese 'David Blaine', as he's been called. It's a very cool trick to help get us through a stinkin' hot Friday...

SONG & ARTIST?: "You lying so low in the weeds
I bet you gonna ambush me
You'd have me down down down down on my knees
Now wouldn't you..... "

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Gone Fishin'...(for The Presence of Greatness) was camping actually - three days in the woods with the kids. Tents. Air mattresses. Sleeping bags. Food coolers. Firepits. A hatchet. Marshmellows. A beach. Sunny weather....

Now I know this is the part when I'm supposed to say how wonderfully blissful it was, but I can't. Mosquitoes. Seagulls (the squawking at 5:30 am type). More mosquitoes. Drunk neighbours partying with lameass mix tapes blasting until all hours. Did I mention the mosquitoes?

I haven't camped since May long weekend over twenty years ago. Hated it. Camped a lot with my family growing up. Can't remember loving it. Not really much of an outdoors person. But time (and kids who really want to camp) has a way of making you forget things you did and hated...things that made you say 'I'll never do that again'.

Sort of like working on a bad tv series.

I firmly believe nobody sets out to make a bad tv series, or a bad movie for that matter...they just sort of happen. Kind of like ending up at site 23 in the south end of the campground...the one that has a path behind it to the lake where everyone likes to tromp through with their canoe. And their fishin' poles...

Okay - I don't really have a 'bad tv series' tale to tell, at least not right now. I was just doing a poor imitation of a Jane Espenson blog intro...a very poor imitation.

Though I did meet Jane once. Or was it Marti Noxon? I can't remember now. And the fact I can't remember which woman I met tells you they absolutely positively would have no recollection of meeting me.

It was at the Buffy studio's in Santa Monica. A quick "hi how are you nice to meet you" whilst walking through the production offices all facilitated by a lovely writer I'd once hired on a series up in Toronto. Who then managed to get hired onto the staff of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the following year. Wow. That was so cool for her. And speaking of cool...

...Joss Whedon was with either Ms. Espenson or Ms. Noxon during my little tour through the Buffy stages. And he also shook my hand. And that moment ended up on what I like to call my 'being in the presence of greatness' list. It's a short list. And Whedon probably shouldn't really count because its not like I saw him break stories or run a writers room (where he was apparently 'a genius'). But I was in his presence. And I thought Buffy was brilliant it counts in my books.

The others on my 'POG' list...?

Tiger Woods: watching him spend an hour on the driving range spanking out shot after shot as he prepared for the final round of a tournament, and seeing the balls he's striking land within a few feet of the target flags over and over and over again. And then he went out and came from 5 strokes back to win the tourney. Amazing.

Prince: or the artist formerly known as His Purpleness, a couple years ago - ten rows back from center stage in a smallish venue - with a small tight backup band, he put on a seriously kickass brilliant show - didn't play a lot of hits, but I didn't care...fantastic showmanship, incredible musical talent...and that voice - he blew me away for over two hours. Amazing.

And though there's been a lot of almost presence of greatness moments (once shared a smoke way back when with actor Eric Roberts - I was such a big fan of 'Star 80' and 'Pope of Greenwich Village' - what happened?; another standing in a circle listening to some motormouth named Quentin Tarantino ramble on about 'the movies' with an enthusiasm like I'd never seen - he was at the Toronto Film Festival with a little film called 'Reservoir Dogs'; or putting on my shoes beside The Hedgehog - porn star Ron Jeremy - at the wrap of a seriously hopping Hollywood party), but I've set the bar pretty high...and kept it to three - Whedon, Woods, & Prince - for now.

Okay, enough prattle...anybody else out there have some inspiring 'being in the presence of greatness' stories?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day... all those visitors living north of the 49th parallel. And being one of dual citizenship, Happy Independence Day to all those visitors from the south. And to all the 'others', have yourselves a great day...

ARTIST & SONG? - I won't let you down
I will not give you up
Gotta have some faith in the sound
It's the one good thing that i've got
I won't let you down
So please don't give me up
Because i would really, really love to stick around